When I first got the email from the Austin Business Journal inviting us to enter their annual Austin “Fast 50” competition, I have to admit that I didn’t think we had a chance.
Not because I don’t think we’re doing great work or making an impact as one of the premier Austin PR firms, but because I didn’t think a bootstrapped service company could hit a list that ranks companies for “extreme revenue growth” in perhaps the hottest business market in the country.
As a bit of background, “Fast 50” lists are put together each year in a number of markets around the country by their local business journal – each ranking revenue growth in their particular city. The Austin Business Journal’s Fast 50 list includes companies who have demonstrated the largest revenue growth in central Texas over a period of three years. They include 25 companies under $10 million in revenue (our category) and 25 companies over $10 million in revenue (hopefully our future category =). To be eligible, each company must have a minimum of $500,000 in revenue each of those years.
After some internal back and forth, we decided to give it a shot and submitted an entry packet, complete with 2011 – 2013 revenue numbers and a rundown of our biggest challenges and our goals for the future.
It was a shot in the dark but we felt like it was worth the time.
I am excited to share with you today that we just found out that we made the Austin Business Journal’s Fast 50 List!
We’re so excited to join 49 other Austin companies to earn this honor. As far as we can tell, no other Austin PR firms hit the list, which is even cooler.
How did we get here – coffee shop freelancer to Austin’s Fast 50 list in less than four years?
There are three key reasons to which I attribute our success:
Without a doubt, the primary reason we’re celebrating this honor is the hard work put in by Shelton Interactive team members – past and present. Working under the leadership of Shelby Sledge and Amber McGinty, our staff’s passion, hard work and talent are the biggest driver of our success. I often comment to my wife Paige how blessed we are to have such wonderful people on the bus with us, and I hope they know how appreciated they are.
We have been very fortunate to have a wonderful group of clients who have been a part of our community from the start. We always said we wanted to have a collaborative, family environment with each of our clients – where their success is our success – and that approach has been key for us. The only marketing we have done is speaking at a few conferences each year, so the biggest accelerant for our growth has been word-of-mouth marketing, connected entirely to our clients and their willingness to talk about their experience with us. I want to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to our clients for their role in our journey so far. We appreciate you more than you know.
Our colleagues in the industry
From the summer of 2010 when we opened our doors to today we have been incredibly fortunate to have the support of colleagues around the country, beginning with Barbara Henricks, the CEO of our partner firm, and the team at Cave Henricks Communications and continuing with many others, including Nick Alter and the team at Alter Endeavors, Erika & Jill and the team at Bibliomotion, Heather Adams and the team at Choice Media & Communications, Nena Madonia and the team at Dupree/Miller, Clint Greenleaf, Tanya Hall and the team at Greenleaf Book Group, Lisa Tener, Dr. Julie Silver and the Harvard Medical School Publishing Course, B&H, Thomas Nelson, Zondervan, Smith Publicity, HarperBusiness, Berrett-Koehler, Chicken Soup for the Soul and far too many others to list. These friends have opened doors for us we could never have opened on our own and we will always be grateful to them for that. We work each day to make them proud of their role in our growth.
Hitting a list like this is certainly a major honor for us but my hope is that it’s the start of something much bigger. We come to work every day to work alongside our friends and clients to start conversations that matter, and I can’t wait to see what’s next for Shelton Interactive.
Update: Check out the Austin Business Journal’s Fast 50 List infographic we created to celebrate all 50 companies on the list!